A star studded group of 180 horses were pre-entered in the 2012 Breeders’ Cup, which will be held this year on Nov. 2-3 at Santa Anita.
Included in the pre-entries are five defending champions and a total of eight horses that have won a Breeders’ Cup race.
Royal Delta is the defending champion in the Ladies’ Classic (G1), and was also pre-entered in the Classic where she would take on males.
Others that won a Breeders’ Cup race last year are My Miss Aurelia (Juvenile Fillies), Amazombie (Sprint), Musical Romance (Filly and Mare Sprint), and St Nicholas Abbey (Turf).
A total of 14 horses were entered in the Classic, but four of those were cross entered in another Breeders’ Cup race.
Dullahan has second preference in the Turf, Handsome Mike has second preference in the Dirt Mile, Nonios has first preference in the Dirt Mile and Royal Delta has first preference in the Ladies’ Classic.
Therefore the Classic field will likely be a dozen, led by Game On Dude, who ran second in the Classic last year behind upset winner Drosselmeyer.
Others pre-entered in the Classic are Alpha, Brilliant Speed, Dullahan, Flat Out, Fort Larned, Handsome Mike, Mucho Macho Man, Nonios, Pool Play, Richard’s Kid, Ron the Greek, Royal Delta, and To Honor and Serve.
The race that drew the biggest field was the Juvenile Turf with 19 pre-entered, although only 14 can start.
A total of 13 were entered in the Mile including the likely favorite Wise Dan, overseas invaders Excelebration and Moonlight Cloud, and 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom, who will be making his first start since January.
St. Nicholas Abbey returns to defend his title in the Turf, and will face a strong field including Point of Entry, who comes into the race having won his last five starts, the last trio of races all Grade 1 victories.
The Ladies’ Classic drew nine and it could be the strongest field ever assembled for the race. In addition to last year’s winner Royal Delta, the undefeated My Miss Aurelia and Awesome Feather will put their perfect records on the line.
Indiana Oaks (G2) winner Grace Hall, Zenyatta (G1) winner Love and Pride, Alabama (G1) victor Questing, Clement Hirsch (G1) winner Include Me Out, and Spinster (G1) winner In Lingerie make for a deep and competitive field.
Amazombie is back to defend his title in the Sprint and is one of 16 pre-entered. He is going to face a very tough group including Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G1) winner Coil, Forego (G1) winner Emcee, and Vosburgh (G1) winner The Lumber Guy.
Defending champion Musical Romance will be back in the Filly & Mare Sprint, and likely will be facing a full field of 14 runners. Among those with the best shot of winning include multiple Grade 1 winner Groupie Doll, A Gleam (G2) winner Switch, and Ballerina (G1) winner Turbulent Descent.
Final entries and post positions for the 15 races will be announced on Monday.